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View Full Version : Osterman Weekend: One of the best of its genre



Mike Retter
07-19-2010, 03:17 AM
This makes me mwant to see a lot more Pekinpah. Rutger is great in this, infact all the cast is. The flair for action proves my film buff friends as ciorrect so must see more from this interesting and influential director. Its a shame I havent seen more. Its a tence film, paranoid to the bone. SDome technolgy used in the films story is a little dated but the basic concepts ring true. Check it out!

Troy Howarth
07-19-2010, 08:45 AM
I actually thought it was a mess... one of Peckinpah's worst films, and the excellent cast is mostly squandered. Craig T. Nelson takes acting honors, which I never thought I'd say in a film that stars Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Burt Lancaster, etc. If you liked this one that much, I'd say the best is yet to come with regards to Peckinpah: Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, Alfredo Garcia, Cable Hogue, etc...

John G.
07-19-2010, 09:44 AM
I think it's great to see this film find its fans... it doesn't really match up to his earlier work but I tend to think it's underrated in most circles... it's certainly a step above CONVOY!

Troy Howarth
07-19-2010, 09:55 AM
True - but then again... most films are.

Jonathan Douglas
07-19-2010, 02:38 PM
Critically acclaimed Peckinpah stuff or the most attractive isn't always what one finds better, for me it's films like KILLER ELITE or CROSS OF IRON preferred, whereas this particular one with Hauer I remember mostly from the rental days way back. A revisit probably is in order, don't know why but when thinking of TOW I think of Michael Winner, unfairly perhaps.

Paul A J Lewis
07-20-2010, 06:52 AM
I have to confess that I really like THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND: it has a nice paranoid edge to it, and an almost dreamlike ambience (which you could also 'spin' as a disregard for narrative logic) - both of which I think are, to paraphrase CROSS OF IRON, an accident of hands. By all accounts, Peckinpah was at this stage in his career mostly smashed out of his mind; I'd ascribe the paranoid tone of the movie and the lack of logic/dreamlike structure to this, rather than to efficient design. There are some effective action setpieces too, and I'm drawn to the film's suggestion that whilst it's almost impossible to be autonomous, to inflitrate yourself into a corporate world is ultimately a self-destructive act - a classic Peckinpah theme placed in a very modern context.

The early cut of the film, presented on the Anchor Bay DVD release (albeit in very poor quality) is well worth investigating.

I'd say the film is a huge improvement over the (pedestrian) novel by Ludlum, with Peckinpah reputedly referring to the novel on set as 'that piece of shit book'.

I also have a soft spot for CONVOY too, although I'd never suggest that it's a particularly good picture: in my mind, the closing sequence (with the 'resurrection' of the Rubber Duck and the group singing 'Shall We Gather at the River') acts as a bookend to the opening sequence of THE WILD BUNCH (where the hymn appears, sung by the temperance union in the town of Starbuck), with both sequences offering comment on ideas of community-building and myth, providing a riposte to John Ford's worldview (via the use of Ford's favourite community-asserting hymn).

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 07:22 AM
Yep, I wouldn't want to attibute any kind of dreamlike logic as being deliberate... I just think it's an unfocused mess of a film, frankly. Of Peckinpah's last films, I prefer Killer Elite - though Cross of Iron comes closest to recapturing the earlier magic.

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 07:23 AM
Critically acclaimed Peckinpah stuff or the most attractive isn't always what one finds better, for me it's films like KILLER ELITE or CROSS OF IRON preferred, whereas this particular one with Hauer I remember mostly from the rental days way back. A revisit probably is in order, don't know why but when thinking of TOW I think of Michael Winner, unfairly perhaps.

What one does or does not find better will be subjective of course, but for me critically acclaimed Peckinpah is critically acclaimed Peckinpah for good reason.

Dick Ringeisen
07-20-2010, 07:30 AM
I need to watch this again, sometime. I also remember thinking, especially at the end, "What a mess" or something to that effect.

When it comes to movies that are a bit messy, released from Anchor Bay USA on DVD, though not Peckinpah, I really Enjoyed what they did with Winter Kills. The movie is a bit messy at times, and it grew on me a bit when I viewed it years later, I didn't find it quite as messy, and pretty decent. I'm curious if that would be the case with Osterman Weekend.

,

Grant W
07-20-2010, 08:10 AM
I hated OW when I first saw it on video in the eighties. However, I bought the AB DVD and on rewatching found a lot that was interesting in it. The whole surveillance thing going off seems much more relevant today.

John G.
07-20-2010, 09:14 AM
I'd say the film is a huge improvement over the (pedestrian) novel by Ludlum, with Peckinpah reputedly referring to the novel on set as 'that piece of shit book'.
Haha, marvelous!

I actually prefer OSTERMAN to KILLER ELITE (and, of course, CROSS OF IRON trumps them all for latter-day Peckinpah). The thing that always bothers me about KILLER is that Peckinpah seemed to be going for that Robert Altman improvisational thing, but it never quite comes off. The film tends to drag a bit toward the end as well. The action is good, though.

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 10:12 AM
I think Killer is more involving than Osterman, also I think it has some of that Peckinpah magic - albeit in spurts - which is, for me, sorely lacking in the latter film.

Steve R
07-20-2010, 01:51 PM
I have come back to revisit Osterman Weekend and Killer Elite after long stretches, ready to watch with fresh eyes,saying now I bet this one will be good this time. Duvall and Cann, wow...and you know both fall short for me each time.

I'll take Cross of Iron as a good later day Sam.

As for undiscovered and unheralded Sam flix, my favorite has to be,
The Ballad of Cable Hogue.

David Warner, uncredited in Straw Dogs comes back for a great performance, Jason Robards fit perfectly here, Stella Stevens... Nice to se the sweet side of Sam in this one.

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 02:06 PM
Cable Hogue is one of my favorites. I don't care for the "funny" fast motion bits - so many great "serious" directors have fallen for this bit of stupidity when they try comedy - but beyond that it's a wonderful film, "sweet" as you say. Another underrated one would be Junior Bonner.

John G.
07-20-2010, 02:54 PM
Never could get into JUNIOR BONNER - I can appreciate the sentiments behind it but I can't work up any enthusiasm about the trappings. I will share my support for CABLE HOGUE, however. :)

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 03:07 PM
I wouldn't have thought I'd like Junior Bonner - I couldn't care less about the rodeo scene, and I'm not a big Steve McQueen fan - but it surprised me. Glad to see some support for Cable Hogue!

Jonathan H.
07-20-2010, 03:16 PM
Not that anyone in this forum would care about such a frivolous element, but I recall OSTERMAN having no shortage of gratuitous nudity from the likes of Helen Shaver, Cassie Yates, and Merete Van Kamp. Perhaps Meg Foster, too? I can't recall.

Troy Howarth
07-20-2010, 03:20 PM
I don't remember WHO duffs their duds, but yep - there's some eye candy. :)

Ian Z.
07-21-2010, 05:10 PM
I've heard a lot about this film being a mess, but I'm curious as to why people feel that way. I rented it a while back and even if I didn't find it brilliant, I did find it an engaging view. I can't say I saw too much to criticize about it. Is it just that it's not a landmark film like Peckinpah's earlier films are?

Jason Roth
07-26-2010, 10:23 AM
For late era Peckinpah, Killer Elite may have the edge over Osterman Weekend, simply becuase it has Peckinpah ninjas! :cool:

But Osterman Weekend has its own charm- Craig T. Nelson is kind of amazing in it.

JR

Troy Howarth
07-26-2010, 10:59 AM
I've heard a lot about this film being a mess, but I'm curious as to why people feel that way. I rented it a while back and even if I didn't find it brilliant, I did find it an engaging view. I can't say I saw too much to criticize about it. Is it just that it's not a landmark film like Peckinpah's earlier films are?

The story is frankly rather confusing and jumbled, the characters are ill defined... and stylistically it doesn't have any of the edge that typifies Peckinpah's work. It feels like anybody could have made it.

John G.
07-26-2010, 11:34 AM
I disagree... there are a couple of slow-motion actions scenes where Peckinpah leaves his mark. I agree that it doesn't have "the edge" of the director's best work, but it's a more than respectable last hurrah and not nearly as faceless as its reputation suggests.

Troy Howarth
07-26-2010, 11:46 AM
We must agree to disagree. There's nothing about slow motion in and of itself that is impressive - it worked in Peckinpah's earlier films because of how it was utilized, whereas here it just feels like kind of a token gesture.

John G.
07-26-2010, 01:00 PM
The final act of violence in the film, rendered in slow motion, particularly within the "media" context, felt very relevant to the action, but I will certainly agree with you that nothing here comes close to the impact that you get in THE WILD BUNCH or STRAW DOGS, or even THE GETAWAY, in which Peckinpah was perhaps moving closer to violence-as-aesthetic as an end.

Troy Howarth
07-26-2010, 01:36 PM
The Getaway is a good film; I'm not a huge McQueen fan, but the two he did for Peckinpah are well worth seeing.